Tag Archives: friends

Magic Matters

Standard

People say to me ‘Magic isn’t real though, is it?’ My last blog post https://wendysteele.com/2017/06/06/a-magical-life/  was about being ‘present’ to experience the magic. ‘Magic Matters’ takes this idea one step further.

One of the definitions of magic, according to my trusty, yet rather battered Oxford Concise, is ‘an inexplicable or remarkable influence producing surprising results’. In order to experience this, however, we need to be connected to ourselves, the planet and the living beings upon it. Why? Because so much of our lives take us away from this state. We live in a dream supported by those who want to control us and who want to sell to us.

In so many ways, we don’t live our own lives. We perform the stories dictated to us by others. Taking back control is the magic. Here are a few ways to rewrite your own story and live a life full of magic and love.

1 Connect with the planet and the universe

We live on an amazing planet within an awesome universe. I’ve recently been inspired by Neil DeGrasse Tyson, helping me to understand the cosmos from both a scientific, as well as personal perspective. Human knowledge at this time gives us a tiny hint at the enormity of the universe, a glimpse of where we came from and the planet on which we reside.

We can play our own part to stop global warming and the rape and destruction of the world’s resources. Recycling and being choosy who and where we buy from keeps us connected with a world community who love their planet too.

The media wants us to buy more of everything, even if we don’t need it.

I’m lucky to be able to stand barefoot on grass or in the river circling my home. I can light a fire on my pebbly beach and feel the breeze chilling my skin while red kites perform their circle dance above me. I used to live in a town but on day’s off, I sought woodland walks or trips to the sea and spent holidays camping beneath the stars. Those moments of connectivity helped sustain me and I invested regular time revisting those happy moments in the natural world and thanking the planet for its sustenance.

2 Family and friends

One good quality of social media is the ease in which it enables us to keep in touch. The huge downside is how it drags us in, wasting our time looking at a screen. Communication has changed but, speaking to our loved ones or preferably hugging them, is far more rewarding. During the second year of our move to Wales, we spent months trying to get a new roof, rebuilding, knocking concrete off walls and remortaring with lime, clearing rubbish and brambles as well as working at our ‘day jobs’. Everything seemed to go wrong, take forever or land us with costs we hadn’t expected. Short of time and funds, we hardly saw our family. It wasn’t a healthy time for myself or my partner. I was a functioning but empty shell. I recognised what was lacking, started a ‘weekend away’ fund and have booked time to see family and friends on a regular basis ever since.

3 Animals, birds and other wildlife

Caring for the planet means caring for all living creatures. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was twenty two and moved onto a plant based diet last year. When my children started school, talk between parents often moved to ‘what are you having for dinner?’ By sharing tasty, nutritional but meat free recipes, friends started adding one or two meat free meals to their repertoire each week. The production of meat, especially beef, is unsustainable. Vast areas of land and millions of gallons of water are used, resources that if sustainable crops were planted, could feed the world.

Other friends only buy their meat from local, organic farms and have switched to free range eggs. It’s definitely a step in the right direction but if you fancy trying some new recipes, have a browse on YouTube for inspiration. Cheap Lazy Vegan is funny and her recipes are easy to follow and delicious. Veganlovlie is adorable and her recipes are scrummy.

4 Caring for the world family

I love leading Tribal Unity Wales out to dance for our local community but in the past year I’ve arranged impromptu haflas (belly dance parties) to raise money for people who need help around the world. We’ve helped Wales Air Ambulance, Smalls for All and Hafla for Humanity and are supporting SHARP, Swansea Humanitarian Aid Response Project at the moment, raising money with a hafla and collecting donations of clothes from friends and family and adding one item of toiletries to our weekly shop to put together a box to be delivered to SHARP at the end of this month.

It isn’t about the amount you donate. When I shop, I add one item for the local food bank and one for SHARP and I think of those mother’s desperately trying to feed their children and keep them clean and well.

I’ve been criticized for my views on helping others but I refuse to judge or exclude. We are one family, the family of humanity. ‘Do as you would be done by’ is a good creed to live by in my humble opinion.

 

So where’s the magic?

Living in tune with the planet, loving friends and family, caring for all animals and wildlife and supporting the human family is the first step to magic and these lifestyle choices will change you. Why not give them a try? How bad can it be living the life you choose?

The next step is all about you so I hope you’ll join me and discover more about magical influence the surprising, exciting results???.

Keep sharing the love.

Bright blessings xx

 

 

 

One year on….missing you

Standard

Approaching the end of the pagan year, it’s time to look back at both achievements and disappointments. Where have I been? Who came with me? Could I have handled that better? What did I learn? How have I grown from these experiences?

In November 2014 I launched a new book, the first of a new series, The Standing Stone books.

Standing Stone Home For Christmas Cover drop shadowMy eldest son came to visit at the Midwinter Solstice. DSC_1200

I danced my feet off with my fabulous ladies of Tribal Unity Wales…we even danced for the eclipse! 17005_1637467316511758_8560746038090504212_n11705339_1637467806511709_6336127877735496573_n11875606_10153165243553867_114847764_o11012386_10153650985507802_1147847422645631772_nOur little house finally has a roof!11150930_1600818576843299_7145038719453612890_n

I worked hard clearing to the end of Bramble Avenue, along our riverbank DSC_000811947900_1654664588125364_5441217376693406600_o(1)Tribal Unity came from Essex to visit and we danced on our outdoor stage

On the beach with my home girls

On the beach with my home girls

I introduced juicing into my diet and changed the balance of vegetables on my plate DSC_1436and published another book!DSC_1413

But my strongest feeling about this year is missing those I love. I’ve missed my children, a constant pain in my heart that though appeased a little by phone calls is only alleviated once I hold them in my arms. I’ve missed my friends, women who have loved and supported me through the best and worst of times. But most of all, I’ve missed my mum and dad. While mum was alive, my promise to dad to look after her kept him alive for me but now they are both gone, I grieve for them both. All year I’ve carried the pain of their loss, silently held within me, only let out in great gulping sobs and screams when I’m alone or the odd persistent tear I cannot restrain.

As the wheel of the year turns, moving us on towards winter, I must let go. My ritual on the riverbank tomorrow night will help me move forward, helping me leave the negative behind while I spend the winter months with my thoughts, working through emotions and emerging anew in the spring.

Samhein blessings xx

The spring in my step

Standard

When I’m depressed, I lose the spring in my step.

I function, exist in the hours of the day and night but I don’t live. Creative pursuits lift me but focussing, using the joy of inspiring, helping and healing others, is tough when I’m depressed, really tough.

DSC_1431And of course, real life, the every day labyrinth of work and bills and relationships, has to be negotiated.

Summer wanes, autumn beckons and I sink into the yawning pit of despair. The Wheel does not cease to turn because I cannot climb aboard. The leaves begin their fall in a blaze of fire and fury, pelted to the earth by the gathering wind. Scuttling eddies announce my way through the lanes, raining flames on my misery.

And then I dance. DSC_0005I still carry my burden of darkness but the bliss of those few dances lightens my step allowing me to appreciate the moment: a chilly Autumn morning, surrounded by friends I love, talking to new people, dancing to live music, dancing with friends, spreading the love of ATS® and making people smile.

DSC_0024

My steps are lighter. My heart is lighter.

Surround yourself with those who love you and find the spring in your step this Autumn.

 

Why I write magical realism – my place in time and space Part 2

Standard

In 2005 a woman came into my life. I had recently joined a bellydance club and she joined too. I saw her as strong, in control of her life, forging forward on a path of which she was certain. I embraced the opportunity to do the same. She liked me. We danced together. I had a new friend.

100_0852Making friends was a challenge for me. I started primary school in a class of children who already knew each other from playschool and here began my life as an outsider. The pattern continued through my school and teen life; make a friend, laugh, share and be unceremoniously dumped, jeered at, ridiculed and bullied.

I was certain my new friend was different. In a safe space, she led me on my first path working. Here are the notes I made immediately after. ‘I’m in a temple. Columns rise around me and I sit on a vast stone seat. Looking up, icy fire bursts from the tops of the columns far above me. Someone is standing behind me. I am not afraid. He is Michael, the Archangel, protector and friend. A cloak of strength and wisdom protects me now, as it has always done. I look down at the creature sitting by my right foot. I see bulbous eyes, pointy nose and ears and many jointed fingers and toes but I feel I know him too and the mischief behind his eyes. The light is changing, sweeping around the columns, growing brighter until my body is full of a green-white, refreshing light. I feel my feet reaching down, pressing through the soft rich earth until I stand on ancient rock.

I see the Goddess of the Land, of Nature herself. I know her. I have always known her.

My Angel protects me, I need never fear.

My pixie shows me all sides of what my eyes see. I no longer feel in the dark.

The force and power of Nature, the Goddess, fills me and I know this magic is my path.’

100_0876

For the first time in my life, I knew who I was and where I belonged. I saw myself for the first time. I am the sum of all that has happened to me in the past but much more. The contentment I felt, coming back to the ‘real world’ is the peace I strive for today as I write, dance and heal. I am now blessed with true friends in my life.

On the beach with my home girls

On the beach with my home girls

My writing became inspired by the magic that was mine, the love, joy and energy of nature that I wanted to share.

An interesting addition: after this pathworking, my relationship with ‘my friend’ began to change. I ‘saw’ her and she knew it. The friendship ended, not by her hand but mine and after months of manipulation, bullying and rudeness, I said ‘no more’. I then stood firm against her abusive emails and attempts to retain contact.

 

Dumping the routine and facing my fears

Standard

Routine makes us complacent, settling us in safe, familiar territory while improvising, reacting and being in the moment keeps our minds and bodies young and active.

11167955_1610750972516726_7729406917342820848_nThis is me at the weekend on Cei Bach beach striking a pose while balancing barefoot on a slippery rock!

My fears, including depression, pain and failure, required me to construct daily routines in order to function. Having a reason to get up and get going was vital while having something to look forward to was essential. In May 2013 we sold our house, moved to a tent, then a caravan and into a run down farmhouse and from that moment, routine was unobtainable.

I’ll be honest, it’s been a struggle at times but facing each new day, not knowing what it might bring, has been empowering. We’ve been in our house for almost 18 months now and finally have a new roof but it’s only now I can look back and see how much the lack of routine and the challenges I’ve faced have changed me.

I trust myself more

Making decisions, especially those involving what seems to me vast sums of money, takes courage. I’ve made mistakes but trusting myself means I’m not afraid anymore.

I feel more confident

Another first for me…I am no longer afraid to fail. Who quantifies and judges failure anyway? I do my best with everything I do so there can be no berating or guilt if plans go array.

I like myself more

I’m proud of me and I don’t mind saying it! Life isn’t about the opinions or approval of others. I appreciate how hard I work and the achievements I make but, most of all, I am happy that I live by my own values of honesty, trust and love.

I can look at myself in the mirror

I’ve always had a problem with mirrors but a few weeks ago, squeaky clean from the bath, as I danced in my room, I looked in the mirror. I saw my tattoos from your eyes, saw my face, shoulders, arms, neck and chest and for the first time in my life, I saw myself. I saw me. It wasn’t Wendy Mum, partner, dancer or writer who looked back at me but me, Wendy Woo, the person my friends, my girls, my sisters see.

On the beach with my home girls

On the beach with my home girls

I can highly recommend dumping your routine, facing your fears and living and being present in every moment of your life.